Farm Progress

Young cotton farmers want to know how research, promotion money is spent

John Hart

June 28, 2016

9 Slides

<p><span>Emmett </span>Hylton<span>, manager of the product development laboratory at Cotton </span>Incorporated<span>, gives a demonstration of the Monarch single knit spinning machine to Scott and </span>Alysa<span> Walker of </span>McDavid<span>, Fla.</span></p>

Young cotton farmers from across the Mid-South and Southeast, most of them in their 20s and 30s, recently made the trip to Cary, N.C., to see firsthand how their checkoff dollars are spent to fund research and promotion for cotton.

The group of about 40 farmers from Alabama, Arkansas, Florida, Georgia, Mississippi, North Carolina, South Carolina and Virginia were part of the Cotton Board’s Southeast/Mid-South Young Guns Producer Tour of Cotton Incoporated’s world headquarters June 20.

“Our mission is simple but very complex at the same time. It is to increase the demand and profitability of cotton. We do that through research and promotion,” said Berrye Worsham, Cotton Incorporated’s president and CEO.

Cotton farmers pay an assessment of $1 per bale plus one-half of one percent of the value of the bale of cotton to fund the work Cotton Incorporated. About half the funds for Cotton Incorporated comes from cotton producers with the other half coming from an assessment on cotton products imported to the U.S. In 2016, Cotton Incorporated’s budget is $76 million, down from $80 million in 2015.

A highlight of the tour was a visit to Cotton Incorporated’s fiber quality laboratory in Cary. “This is a state of the art laboratory unlike any in the world where you can go from yard to fabric to finished consumer product and evaluate at every step along the way. There is no other lab like it. You have built something very, very special in this lab,” Mike Watson, vice president of fiber competition for Cotton Incorporated told the young farmers.

The "Young Guns" tour was managed by the Cotton Board which administers the cotton research and promotion program that is conducted by Cotton Incorporated.


About the Author(s)

John Hart

Associate Editor, Southeast Farm Press

John Hart is associate editor of Southeast Farm Press, responsible for coverage in the Carolinas and Virginia. He is based in Raleigh, N.C.

Prior to joining Southeast Farm Press, John was director of news services for the American Farm Bureau Federation in Washington, D.C. He also has experience as an energy journalist. For nine years, John was the owner, editor and publisher of The Rice World, a monthly publication serving the U.S. rice industry.  John also worked in public relations for the USA Rice Council in Houston, Texas and the Cotton Board in Memphis, Tenn. He also has experience as a farm and general assignments reporter for the Monroe, La. News-Star.

John is a native of Lake Charles, La. and is a  graduate of the LSU School of Journalism in Baton Rouge.  At LSU, he served on the staff of The Daily Reveille.

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